REVIEW: Northward – Northward


Over 10 years ago, at   2007, Floor Jansen (Nightwish) and Jørn Viggo Lofstad (Pagan’s Mind) had an idea to collaborate together, this is how Northward originally was born. However, the duo had no time to further elaborate and actually release an album. More than 10 years later, they found a gap in their busy schedules, allowing to release their self-titled album to the world.

Northward - Northward - Artwork.jpg

The album kicks off with the first single “While Love Died”. The song basically serves as a perfect introduction to the sound of the whole album. Heavy catchy riffs and powerful vocals. The chorus, however, reminds me a bit too much of “The Pretender”, which isn’t a big surprise because the two got inspired a lot by Foo Fighters. Considering the album was composed in 2008 and “The Pretender” is from 2009, it’s all a big coincidence. That aside, “While Love Died” is a catchy rock song that will get you dancing on the tables. Another great song on the album is “Drifting Islands”, where Floor is singing a duet with her sister. This is definitely one of the highlights of the album. As usually the case with siblings, their voices blend very well together and the song itself definitely stands out from the rest of the album. Another song that stood out for me was “Big Boy”. That song is just a lot more groovy than the rest of the album, showing a different rock ‘n’ roll side of the band. Floor Jansen does things with her voice which are perhaps different than what we are used to and the riffs in the song are just so heavy-ass and groovy at the same time. “Timebomb” was a big surprise to me, as it started off with heavy instrumentals and pinch harmonics, but then turned out into a beautiful power ballad. The album ends with the title track “Northward”, which is with it’s 7:27 the longest track on the album. It’s a bit more mellow than the rest of the album but provides a nice closure to the debut album of Northward.

I have been following Floor Jansen since the beginning of her career with After Forever and I have been a big fan of her work. Perhaps it’s because of that, that I actually am so used to hearing her in a heavier setting, I kind of prefer it over Northward. It’s true that her voice is very versatile and fits great with about anything. I somehow am left with some kind of a hunger. However, that’s just my personal opinion and it certainly doesn’t mean this album was bad. Quite on the contrary. It just means that I think I’m just more of a metalhead than a rocker. I still enjoyed Northward despite that. Moreover, I think there are a lot of things for everyone on this album. There are catchy powerful songs, more mellow ones, heavy tracks and sometimes even groove. Structure-wise the songs are kind of similar, making them a consistent whole with an outstanding production. What makes the album purely gold to me are the guitars by Jørn Viggo Lofstad. Riffs, solos, melodies, there’s nothing this man can’t make sound refreshing and catchy. So if you like incredible power ballads, heavy rock songs, and groovy rhythms, this album is definitely one for you!

1. While Love Died 4:37
2. Get What You Give 4:00
3. Storm In A Glass 3:48
4. Drifting Islands 3:46
5. Paragon 5:19
6. Let Me Out 4:18
7. Big Boy 4:28
8. Timebomb 4:37
9. Bridle Passion 2:54
10. I Need 4:43
11. Northward 7:27

Floor Jansen – Vocals
Jorn Viggo Lofstad – Guitar